“He was a great guy:” Woman says she witnessed hit-and-run crash that killed her friend

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police are searching for a driver who hit a man and left him to die. It happened early Wednesday morning, August 6th. Later Wednesday, FOX6 News spoke with a woman who knows the victim -- and witnessed the hit-and-run. She says it was several minutes before she realized the victim was her friend. Now, she says there's a terrible rumor going around that she wants to clear up.

"I heard a screech, like they tried to stop," the woman, who does not want to be identified, told FOX6 News.

Police say a 35-year-old Milwaukee man was crossing Lovers Lane near Silver Spring Drive when he was hit by a car that kept going.

"I saw him get hit. I saw him fly into the other vehicle," the woman said.

The man was then hit a second time -- by a Honda Accord. That driver stayed at the scene.

"The ambulance came and they started administering first aid and when they turned him on his back -- that's when I realized that I knew him," the woman said.

The woman says she was in the area because the victim called and asked to meet her.

"'Meet me at the KFC parking lot and I'll be there in a few minutes,' so I waited and I had my two dogs with me -- so I took them out of the vehicle and I walked them," the woman said.

The woman says she was a few hundred feet away when the man was hit. She asked that FOX6 News not name the man, in case not all of his family members have been notified.

She says she believes he was crossing the street -- headed for her car.

"I expected him to come from the north. He came from the south," the woman said.

The woman was at the scene for hours -- comforting the driver of the Honda Accord and speaking with police.

"I said, 'why do I have to talk to homicide detectives?' They say 'because he died at the hospital,' and now I'm crying all over again," the woman said.

The woman broke down once more during her interview with FOX6 News -- recalling the phone call she got hours later.

"My sister called me this morning from Arlington, Texas and said, 'I heard the police are looking for you, because you killed a man last night. Is that true?'" the woman said.

The woman says it's a rumor going around her neighborhood -- possibly rooted in her "tough love" relationship with the victim -- as she helped him with his sobriety.

"We talked about going to rehab. We talked about going to AA. He wasn't ready," the woman said.

When asked to describe the victim, the woman's tears flowed again.

"He was a great guy. He was," the woman said.

The woman says she's cooperating with police and has given them information about other vehicles she witnessed in the area.

So far, police do not have any suspects in custody. They continue to search for the driver of the striking vehicle, which they describe as a maroon or burgundy sedan.

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